If you’re looking for a beach holiday destination, there’s no place quite like Croatia and this list of the best Croatia beaches is here to prove it. This beautiful country stretching along the Adriatic Sea has some of the most incredible beaches in the world. While some of the best beaches in Croatia are close together and easy to visit in a single trip, others are remoter and might take a bit of planning to get there.
JayWay Travel specializes in bespoke trips to Croatia, including to several of these beaches, and many of our Croatian city destinations are just a short drive away. Don’t hesitate to get in touch and leave the planning of your dream Croatia adventure in our hands!
But before that, here’s our list of the best Croatia beaches to help simplify your search.
The Best Croatia Beaches
Zlatni Rat Beach
One of the most famous beaches in Croatia, Zlatni Rat is also among the most spectacular ones. Zlatni Rat, which means Golden Horn, is located just west of Bol on the island of Brac. A thin strip of sand extending nearly a quarter of a mile into the sea, Zlatni Rat is ideal for sunbathing and swimming.
Above all, there’s a feeling of peace and openness there, so you can enjoy a relaxing, meditative stay among the beauties of nature, or keep as active as you like.
Recently named The Best Beach in Europe by European Best Destinations, Stiniva Beach really is incredible. Located on the wonderful island of Vis, the beach is hugged by a cove that creates a narrow opening out to the sea beyond. The protection of the cove means that the water is always placid here, and the numerous caves scattered across the rocky cliffs create beautiful lighting effects.
Access to this beach is easiest by boat, otherwise, you’ve got to clamber down the hillside. Our local experts in Croatia can recommend the best private tour with a stop at Stiniva Beach if you want to arrive in the easiest way possible, so, once again, you’ve come to the right place.
Palmizana is another beach situated in a cove, though this one is much larger than Stiniva, making it a great place for sailboats to anchor. Located on the Pakleni archipelago very close to Hvar Town, Palmizana Beach features a white pebble beach along with two very good open-air restaurants. In other words, it’s the perfect place to enjoy delicious local cuisine between dips in the alluring blue water.
Since we’re talking about the best Croatia beaches near the island of Hvar, Marinkovac Island is an essential stop. This slice of heaven off the coast of Hvar Island is home to many beaches and small coves, several of them naturist ones.
When setting off to explore the top beaches on Marinkovac Island, your first stop should be Stipanska. Marinkovac Island is undoubtedly a haven of tranquil moments. That said, it’s also a shrine for nightlife enthusiasts. Carpe Diem Beach Club on Stipanska Bay is famous for its beach parties and live DJ sets.
A short distance from Hvar, the Pakleni Islands are heavenly. This five-mile chain of islands boasts numerous beaches, many of which are comfortably remote, so you can enjoy a great day of swimming and sunbathing without the crowds. Thick pine forests abut the shore, creating an atmosphere of natural beauty and the untouched outdoors.
For a closer look at the best Croatian beaches in Hvar and around, you can read our thorough guide to the best Hvar beaches.
Mulini Beach is located very close to the Old Town of Rovinj and features both a man-made waterside promenade and sunbathing area, as well as a small beach.
There’s a feel of elegance there, as the bathing area, backed by lush Mediterranean planting, combines a pebbled beach with a pavilion housing a beach bar, a space for open-air concerts, and decks for sun beds and parasols. It’s right in front of the plush five-star Monte Mulini and Lone hotels and hotel guests get their own stretch of private beach as well.
If you’re spending some time in the almost unbearably romantic town of Rovinj, Lone Bay is yet another beach worth checking out. Its ideal location near several hotels and a short walk from the marina renders Lone Bay one of the most popular beaches in Rovinj. For many, it’s also one of the best beaches in Croatia.
The shallow waters of Lone Bay appeal to families traveling with kids, while there are also several water sports and snack bars available for a full day of fun under the bright Croatian sun. As a bonus, Lone Bay offers spectacular views of Rovinj Old Town and the island of St Katarina.
For more details, you can have a look at our guide to the best beaches in Rovinj.
Prapratno Beach is located in a deep, sheltered bay with a calm, clear sea, overlooked by a beach with white pebbles and backed by olive groves and rocky slopes. Facilities include bathrooms with hot showers, a communal kitchen, a restaurant, a shop, and tennis, volleyball, and basketball courts.
It’s a great choice for families with children, as there’s plenty to keep everyone entertained. About an hour’s drive from Dubrovnik, it makes for a pleasant stop if you’re driving to Korcula or is ideal when combined with a visit to Ston, a few minutes away and renowned as Croatia’s oyster capital.
Probably the most popular destination in Croatia, Dubrovnik boasts several lovely beaches along the glistening Adriatic Coast where you can escape the heat during the summer months.
A favorite among locals, Sveti Jakov Beach is hidden in plain sight near the gorgeous Dubrovnik Old Town. Apart from swimming in its deep blue crystal clear waters, Sveti Jakov Beach is ideal for adrenaline lovers as you can rent a kayak or jet ski there, to explore the stunning coastline from the best vantage point: the water.
That said, no one can blame you if all you want to do is relax in the shade of the on-site beach bar, enjoying the sun and the precious relaxing moments your vacation in Croatia wholeheartedly offers, as this is among the best things to do in Croatia anyway.
A mix of pebbles and sand, Sveti Jakov Beach opens to spectacular views of the walled city of Dubrovnik and Lokrum Island, which brings us to our next suggestion on this list of the best Croatia beaches.
A mere 15-minute boat ride from Dubrovnik, Lokrum awaits to seduce you with its exotic-looking coves. A natural national park protected by the Croatian Academy of Art & Science, Lokrum is also home to a well-hidden lake with tranquil waters, ideal for families traveling with kids. The name of the lake is the Dead Sea but nothing can make you feel more alive than a refreshing drink from the nearby cocktail bar.
Apart from the Dead Sea, you can walk around Lokrum to find your own secluded beach. Keep in mind that some of the remotest beaches on this tiny island are nudist ones.
Sightseeing enthusiasts and hunters of epic views can visit Forte Royale, a fortress built on the highest peak of Lokrum by the French army in 1806. For the hikers among you, several scenic paths will lead you to a beautiful old Benedictine Monastery that’s been converted into a restaurant. There’s also a small Game of Thrones museum there, which proves that Lokrum is perfect for all types of visitors.
Dubrovnik is home to several other beaches, the best of which we’ve listed in our guide to the most amazing beaches in Dubrovnik.
Luka Korculanska Bay
If you’re staying in Korcula Town, one of the best sandy beaches in Croatia awaits a 15-minute walk from the Old Town. Luka Korculanska Bay is ideal for a relaxing day by the sea, with several bars coming to the rescue when you feel hungry or thirsty. The only downside of Luka Korculanska Bay is that it can get very busy during the peak season as it’s an extremely popular spot for families traveling with children.
A few miles from Korcula Old Town, Lumbarda is yet another quaint town, a true locals’ favorite that’s easily reached by water taxi from Korcula. In or near Lumbarda, there are several beaches you can visit. One of the best is Prvi žal, a beach located in the heart of Lumbarda, with many bars close by.
If you decide to add Trogir – one of the most picturesque towns on the Dalmatia Coast – to your Croatian itinerary, you should know that Okrug Beach is favored by the locals and it’s often considered one of the best Croatia beaches.
Situated a stone’s throw from Trogir city center, Okrug Beach stretches for over a mile and is lined by several beach bars and restaurants. When the night falls, Okrug Beach transforms into a lively nightlife hub with options for people of all tastes and ages.
Another beach near the heart of Trogir, Pantan is better suited to families traveling with kids or older people. There are several bars right on the beach but if a peaceful day is what you’re after, perhaps you’ll be better off under the thick shade of the beautiful pine trees.
If you’re headed to Trogir soon, here’s our travel guide to the best beaches in Trogir.
Stephan Delbos is an internationally published writer and editor. Born in the US, he has lived, worked and traveled in Europe for a decade. He’s fond of oysters and arid martinis.